I’m proud to introduce a new feature on RustedRobot today called Ask The Musician. I hope to be able to do one of these every other Friday, but I suppose it’s all dependant on who I can get and how long it takes them to get back to me. My first victim, er, guest is none other than Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers. I’ve always liked the Drive-By Truckers until their last album, called “Decoration Day.” Now I love them. I would protect them like I would protect my own family. Maybe. Actually, I wouldn’t. But damn, they are one hell of a band.

The Truckers are a throwback to pull-tab beer cans and 1976 El Caminos driving through a run-down Georgia town. They proudly wear the southern rock badge on their sleeves, much like Lynyrd Skynyrd did, but the Truckers write more intelligent songs. I really believe that. They can rock with reckless abandon or lay down a sweet gentle tune. Some miserable bands write and sing songs about suicide. Pow. Gone. The Truckers are the kind of band that write a song about how suicide affects the ones left behind, emotionally, physically, everything-ly. They are real. They are good. They are real good.

Patterson is one of the lead singers of the band (you all know how much I love bands with multiple lead singers) and I want to thank him for a) naming the Kinks as the most underrated band of all time and b)answering the following questions:

1. You’re playing in Boston during the Democratic National Convention this year. What do you think would happen if the Drive-By Trucker’s get on stage at the FleetCenter and play in front of 17,000 dems?

Massive pandemonium and a red terror alert – oops, sorry, wrong party and city, that would be NYC for the Repubs. The Democrats like to party and we’d ROCK the house. Either way, I’m sure we’d all get fined for all the smoking that occurs.

2. Stock music interview question: Tell me more about the new album and when it will be released?

It’s called The Dirty South and it’s bigger and meaner than all the others. My fave so far. It’s coming out August 24th, followed by massive year long tour.

3. Can you think of the best show you feel you ever played?

Last saturday night in Chicago.

4. Does it feel weird to hear yourself on the radio?

When was I on the radio? It’s weirder NOT hearing us (or any of my other favorite bands) on the radio. Radio used to play ROCK, now they play SHIT.

5. What are the advantages of having a beard?

Covering up as much ugly as possible, and less razor rash.

6. Did you see Farenheit 9-11? If so, what did you think?

Saw it in NYC the first week it was out there. Loved it as a film. Made me physically sick though to see all the shit that moron has done to the country though. My theory is it got the R rating because of all the sex, since it’s essentially 2 hours of watching GWB fornicating all of us.

6a. If not, did you see “E.T.?” Do you think it’s a documentary?

I did see E.T. in 1982 and again fairly recently. No it’s a two and a half hour commercial for Reeses Pieces. A masterfully done one though.

7. Who is the most underrated band of all time?

The Kinks 1st, Big Star 2nd, Todd Rundgren is up there too. Of modern bands, why is Centro-Matic not selling millions of records? Hell, us for that matter?

8. Who was the first band you were obsessed with and how old were you?

Elton John when I was 8 (1973), followed soon after by Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. I was a really big Springsteen fan from 78-84 too.

9. What was the last thing you really laughed hard at?

Between the folks I play with, the girl I married, and my friends, all of whom are fairly hilarious, I laugh a LOT. Hell, our crew is funnier than most comedians and way funnier than most movies. I used to laugh at our president, but it’s just not funny anymore. Bill Clinton, that was a President who could deliver the laughs.

10. Would you rather be Robert Plant, Aretha Franklin or Alex Chilton?

Aretha Franklin by miles (although I’ll bet Plant made more money and got more pussy). Who the hell’d want to be Alex Chilton? I’d rather listen to him than be him, but that applies to all three.

Bonus question: I saw the DBT’s at a place in Cambridge, MA called The Plough & The Stars like 7 years ago. Do you remember this show?

Vividly. People had to walk through the stage(?) to get to the bathroom. The crowd seemed evenly divided between folks who liked us and hated us. The next night we played in Richmond VA, which is a long fucking drive. END

Note: I did walk across the stage once to get to the bathroom. Sorry dude. Great show, though.

Song now playing: Otis Redding – “Just One More Day”